Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn Mccrumb

Media Type: Unabridged Audio

Source: www.NetLibrary.com

Purchase URL: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/034541215X?v=glance

Review:
Sadly this book is 90% setting and 10% predictable plot. I was very hopeful about this book.  I thought that with a precocious title like this, it would strive to achieve better.  Plus it won an Edgar Award (whatever that is). To be honest, I am very surprised that this isn’t an author’s first work.  If this book were a piece of carpentry, it would be the set of shelves you made in junior high shop class.
Other people have reviewed this as a comedy novel – an extremely good one.  And maybe that’s why I rate it so poorly.  The audio book version offers you no clues that it isn’t meant to be taken seriously and it is way too close to reality to be taken as a spoof.  I didn’t find anything in here that would classify it as a comedy unless the use of stereo types is supposed to allow us to the opportunity get enjoyment out of ridiculing people.  “Ha ha – the fat chick and the geek are doing the nasty right now. giggle giggle giggle”.  However, if that’s the case, why is the promiscuous, liberal, feminist college professor type (Is she another stereo type role or the author placing herself in the book? I just don’t know.)   making such a big deal about how bad it is to make fun of people? 
There’s a character in this book that wrote a book called BotDS based upon a scientific theory.  I have to admit I did laugh about how the audio book reader got slower and slower when reading technical description of the concept behind the book within the book.   That was quite funny once I realized it wasn’t being done on purpose!
The writing is full of too many literary mistakes for me to give it a good review.  It has everything from supplying information that is never again needed (perhaps just there to give you giggles?), to redundantly explaining simple concepts (might have been funny if over emphasized), to throwing in meaningless techno babble (you’re in a hotel with a thousand geeks surely if this were meant to be funny it could happen more often), to using the novel to express ridicule of your own current pet peeves (never really funny), to criticizing other authors and then making the same mistakes (humor through ridicule never does it for me), this novel has it all.
The over-simplified stereotypes throughout the book shows the real prejudice in the author’s mind as we are repeatedly told:
1. Americans are stupid, ignorant and loud (a message repeated in so many words perhaps a dozen times throughout.)
2. Scotts are stuck up alcoholics
3. F&SF only exists because of the psychoses of the fat or ugly or fat and ugly teens that work at supermarkets or burger king.
4. Fat girls can only get ahead through sexual encounters with those more desperate than they are.
5. The mind of a cop is a slow thing, so, use small words.
6. A liberated feminist is always the only psychologically healthy individual in a room.
The scene painted of the “con” by half way through the book was intricate in detail and enjoyable until you realized that absolutely nothing has happened so far.  Then you are forced to realize that due to the Shakespeare quotes tossed in here and there, the author has left only one avenue for the plot to follow.
Also, I would have respected the work more if she wouldn’t have failed on the fine details of the computer stuff.  This was set in the 80’s, so there is talk about computers and programs.  I feel that the research on that subject was done through one email to a friend who responded with a couple name brands and buzzwords.  It’s  a shame too because she almost got that part of it right.
I guess if this was meant to be a comedy, she needed to be a little less accurate.  Treading the line between true satire and accurate portrayal, gives the reader nothing on which to make any traction.  To straight for a farse, to sloppy to be taken seriously, this novel is a worth reading if you can get it for free.
I always feel bad when I don’t finish, or if even I don’t want to finish, a book.  This novel is another reminder that it is not my fault that the author writes a bad book.  I will say that I REALLY felt like I was one of the people hosting a convention, time dilation and all.  I decided 3/4 of the way through the book that someone should take this exact setting and characters, and make something exciting happen.  There’s plenty of potential in a full rewrite.